Jan 23, 2011

Application In

I finally send in my French citizenship application.  After getting all of the right paperwork and writing my letter of motivation (See Dear France), we mailed it in.  I have to say that there should be some new proof ofs....

Are you a real couple? 
Not sure a bank statement, a cell phone bill is a big enough of a commitment as a child.  My 2 kids should be proof enough that my spouse and I are a real company and I just didn't marry him to get in the EU line at the airport.

Will you be a burden to France?
I am assuming the reason you have to send in your CV, it's because they want to make sure that you won't go there without some skill necessary to finding employment.  But really France, what about stay-at-home parents, are they not worthy of France?  Is there some other proof?  Not that I am stay-at-home mom, but I'm just saying

Are you divorced?
The application requires your Marriage Certificate that is dated less than 3 months ago.  But Maryland doesn't date their Marriage Certificates with any date but the issue date.  And if a couple get's divorced would the State know to stop issuing them a copy of their Marriage Certificate?

Anyway, I should hear soon whether or not the copy of my paperwork is acceptable.  If so I can send in the real thing, good grief.  Hmm, I am not sure this is worth using the EU line at the airport;)

Jan 19, 2011

Dear France

Dear France,
Please accept me into your ranks?  I will be a good citizen and vote and care about the general state of the country.  I am a nice person.  I love baguettes and sitting for hours drinking wine.  Why would you want me in your country?  Well I hope one day to be a productive citizen and am highly likely to cure a major disease, like cancer or something.  At least that is what I tell the grant agencies in the US.  I have been learning to make yummy French food, such as Galette des rois and roast duck.  Also I am committed to my children learning French.  I have tried to get my husband to sing the Marseillaise during dinner, but he doesn't know the words.  If you accept me, I will learn the words! 

Signed applying to be French.

Jan 13, 2011

Helping a Fellow Alum

Here is another letter that I got about 2 months ago:
I found your information when doing a search on the University of XYZ’s Alumni website.  I am a 2003 graduate with a BS in French Language and Literature.  While studying abroad in Paris during my third year, I decided that one day, France would be my home.  After many years in the corporate world, I decided it was time to chase my dream.  Earlier this year, I left my job and have been desperately searching for a way to make this dream a reality by early 2011.  
The reason that I’m contacting you is because you have successfully established yourself abroad.  As you probably know, it’s very difficult to navigate through the bureaucracy of the French government to get a job or a visa (after all, which comes first??), therefore I have hit many dead-ends.  As a fellow Wahoo and a resident of France, I am asking for your assistance and counsel in finding a job and moving to the Paris area.
My professional experience is in sales and operations, with over 10 years of service with XYC company; however, my interests and skill-set are vast.  I ask that you please consider your network of friends, neighbors and business colleagues and what jobs they may have available.  I am willing to start at the bottom, prove myself, and work my way up again.  Right now, it isn’t as much about the position, but about getting to a place I know I should be. 
My CV, which is attached, contains additional information on my experience and skills. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss possible options with you and to provide further information about myself. I can be reached anytime via email or on my mobile phone: 1-555-555-5555.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration,
I just have no idea what to say about letters like these.  I have a PhD in Biochemistry.  What do I know about business....I have no connections, etc.

No Access Pass

Today I got another email from an American who thinks I can teach them the secret to getting a job in France.  Here is that letter
Hi! I'm one of the American members of the Live-In-France Group in Yahoo and I'm new to Facebook and interested in connecting with Americans who are associated with France and French people (for many years I've wished I could be one of them!). I'm especially fascinated with the very fortunate American women who have been blessed with the qualifications to marry into the French nationality, as I'm a would-be Revolutionary War historian who knows a thing or two about the great patriotic alliance during America's fight for independence. Most of all, I'm interested in networking to somehow obtain a career connected with France, preferably the type that would enable me to become eligible to live there. Maybe you and/or other friends can hook me up? From what I've learned in that Yahoo Group, merely being proficient in the language and openly appreciating the culture (and being an overall nice, gracious person) is not enough. I noticed you're from Maryland. I've been told by family that through my mom's side I'm descended from one of the Maryland signers of the Declaration of Independence, however that's recently been disputed by someone in authority. In September I had a brief stop in Maryland to eat while on a bus trip to Washington D.C.

Dear Americans who want to live in France,
I have no secret.  The first time I moved to France I was not even a Francophile.  I didn't speak or read or write French.  I have no special skills when it comes to being French.  I happen to be nice to a French waiter 12 years ago, who eventually married me.  I wanted to move to Germany, I was studying German.  I have no advice.  Life is unexpected.

Jan 10, 2011

What Would Julia Do?

Lately, because of the Xmas holiday, I have been wondering 'What would Julia do?'  The Julia here is Julia Child.  How long should I cook this duck?  Julia, what do you think? How can I make a Frangipane for Epiphany?  Does Julie know that one too?
Finally, I have a French cookbook, that I can actually read and understand (because it's in English), unlike all of the ones that A has in French.  How long would Julia cook a duck, about an hour and a half.  Oh yeah and she thinks I should stab the skin and rub it in sage.  How original.  Frangipane, I ask?  Well no need to make "creme pâtissier', like A's textbook claims.  I can make the same tasting filling with just sugar, butter, eggs, almond paste, vanilla and rum.  Thanks goodness, because creme pâtissier requires lots of wisking.
I am not cooking everything in her excellent 2 volume book in a year or devoting my blog to cooking.  But it is my new goto for French cooking.  Thanks A and S for such a great B-day present.  I will try to post the picture soon;)

Jan 4, 2011

Didn't I just leave?

I applied for this year's CNRS competition.  I am not sure what the future hold, but if you don't buy a lotto ticket you will never win the lotto....  So I bought a ticket.  Much more like I spend a lot of time writing a proposal, had to find a bunch of files from the past, like my 5 year old thesis and fill in a bunch of boring paperwork, but I did it.

Now to apply for French citizenship.  I need to write the motivation letter.  Why do you think I should want to be French?

Jan 1, 2011

New Years Resolutions

In the spirit of a new year, I have decided to make a few New Year's Resolutions. 

1) I will potty train my youngest son and be totally free of diapers by 2012.  2012 the beginning of my diaper and diaper bag free life!
2) I will, of course, lose 10-20lbs.  I am technically ok in the weight department.  But I have had 2 kids and firming up would be nice.
3) I will learn to make a few signature dishes.  One day, I want my boys to say, 'My mom makes the best XYZ' whatever they will be.  But they will be better than anyone else's XYZ.
4) I will drink less beer and other loaded calories that I don't need.
5) I will complain less, I am starting to sound French.
6) I will get into shape.  I was in shape last summer, but the winter has been unkind;(
7) I will figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
8) I will stop worrying about the little things a dirty floor and food in the kid's hair.

Well I thought there were going to be 10, but that's already a lot for one year, no?

Happy New Year Everyone.  Bonne Année Tout Le Monde.